Finance Most In-demand Skill: Business Partnering

In APQC’s September financial management community call, retired finance talent development executive Amy P. Youngblood talked about the importance of developing a growth (versus fixed) mindset for finance professionals, a mindset that involves continuous learning for finance professionals who seek to thrive as the function continues to evolve into the coveted role of strategic partner and insight generator for the business.


The idea of a growth mindset is an appealing one to most of us, as the vast majority of finance professionals want to be valued contributors to their businesses and organizations. But specifically, what does developing a growth mindset from an individual development standpoint mean for the average finance practitioner in terms of knowledge, skills, and abilities? And where specifically should they focus in terms of honing their skills?


Below are what APQC’s recent research has to say are some of the most in-demand skills valued from today’s finance professionals (beyond the procedural body of knowledge specific to their finance roles, such as accounting, treasury, tax, or payroll).


Most In-demand Business/Leadership/Soft Skills


Business partnering―As business partners, finance professionals leverage their knowledge of finance, operations, and the business to provide analysis, advice, and decision support to their key stakeholders. Business partnering was ranked as the number one (78%) interpersonal/soft skill needed by FP&A professionals in APQC/AFP’s “Next-level Financial Planning and Analysis” study.

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